Karina Kagramanov is returning home this summer as a branch manager of her own business, Student Painters, which offers exterior house painting services.
Karina Kagramanov is returning home this summer as a branch manager of her own business. (Spenser R. Hasak)
Business, News

Need your house painted? This Nahant girl wants your call.

NAHANT -- A local entrepreneur pushes herself to do it all and this time it's to benefit and contribute to her community.

Karina Kagramanov is a first generation Russian-Armenian who grew up in Nahant, after moving here in the sixth grade, and attended Swampscott High School. As a freshman at the UMass-Amherst, she has taken a basic internship opportunity and made it her own.

"It's not that I started this company by myself, it's part of Student Painters, and it's an internship they offer to teach young people like myself, who hope to get into the business world, all about marketing and managerial experience," she said. "Right now there is no existing branch in Swampscott or Nahant, so I'm expanding the company and running this branch by myself."

Student Painters is more than just a painting company, according to its website. The company originated in Canada and made its way to the United States in 1987 with the purpose of giving college students a unique and professional experience.

Kagramanov, who acknowledges she has very little managerial experience, says she is ready to step out of her comfort zone.

"The reason I took this internship was because I wanted more learning experiences in marketing, sales and business," she said. "With their help and guidance, I'm learning the basics on how to do estimates and how to be a manager.

"My upbringing has a big influence on where I ended up because my parents raised me to get out of my comfort zone and reach for the stars and to push myself to be the best I can be," said Kagramanov. "My mom taught me determination, to support myself and to be a strong independent woman."

Executives from the company are in continuous contact with the Communication and Journalism double-major to ensure she feels comfortable running a branch on her own. Kagramanov must attend trainings to perfect her knowledge in door to door knocking, online marketing, follow-up calls, managing clients and even hiring employees.

Kagramanov will hire high school and college-aged students from local North Shore communities who show an interest. The Swampscott High alumna spoke to a class at her alma mater a few months ago and caught the attention of a few students. She has already hired one to be on her marketing team but needs three more between the ages of 16 and 20, as well as a plethora of painters aged 18 and up.

Kagramanov also feels inspired to donate to a cause after some of her mentors from Student Painters told about their many donations. After the young businesswoman reaches her goal of running a $100,000 business, she plans to donate at least $500 to Project Polaris, a non-profit organization committed to ending human trafficking.

"I really like the idea of giving jobs to people in my community and then taking my profits to help a cause like human trafficking, which is at an all-time high right now," she said. "It's a really terrible thing that's going on and I want to contribute to help end it."

After hiring a full team of marketers and painters, Kagramanov's local branch will begin sometime in May. Before the business begins, her team must undergo hours of training to perfect the knowledge of exterior house painting to guarantee customer satisfaction for every single client.

The young entrepreneur says she has reached out to numerous people throughout North Shore communities seeking donations for supplies, such as a power washer and ladders. Kagramanov asks for the support of her community and if anyone would like to donate supplies, please email her at kkagramanov@umass.edu.

"My intention, and the intention of the company, is to build up our futures," she said. "There's not much to lose, but there is so much more to gain in this experience."

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